Whilst the beginning of 2017 might have slipped away from us here at the Sydney Schubert Society and we have been just a tad slow in sharing the news of our exciting 2017 concert season, the good news is that our three splendid Schubertiades for the year are still ahead of us, as well as one more Schubert Hour event.
We are thrilled to be presenting three rich programs of Schubert's beloved chamber music performed by some of Australia's finest musicians, expats abroad and international artists. Please visit our website for full details and to purchase your tickets: https://www.sydneyschubertsociety.com/concerts
The first Schubertiade 374 is on THIS SUNDAY at 2.30pm at the Goethe Institute in Woollahra and will feature a return visit from the ravishing soprano Simone Easthope and German pianist Benjamin Moser who will perform Lieder by Schubert and Wolf, piano works by Brahms and Beethoven and - together with the clarinettist Phillip Green - Schubert’s late Hirt auf dem Felsen (Shepherd on the Rock). This work was written in October 1828 by Schubert for Anna Milder-Hauptmann.
The stunning soprano had performed Suleika and Erlkönig in Berlin with much success in 1825 and had implored Schubert to send her more songs as early as June 1825. Milder-Hauptmann was one of the leading singers of her time - she premiered the role of Leonore in Fidelio and Beethoven was reputed to have been very fond of her- the Emperor Napoleon was even “said to have been in love with her” (Fischer-Dieskau). Schubert’s dedication to Milder-Hauptmann was made in the hope that she would consider to appear in Schubert’s opera Der Graf von Gleichen. However, these projects came to nothing as Schubert died about a month after the completion of the Shepherd on the Rock in November 1828.
The next concert, Schubertiade 375, will be at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney on August 20 and features internationally renowned baritone Barry Ryan and pianist Jeanell Carrigan performing Schubert’s “Winterreise” D 911. Completed in the autumn of 1827, Schubert’s moving lieder cycle left the composer himself in a state of exhaustion. According to contemporary reports, Schubert had been “gravely ill for a long time, he had experienced much melancholy…. and winter had arrived for him”. Contemplating an unresolved fate of a wanderer who is nowhere at home and has no prospect of arrival or redemption, Schubert presents us with a masterful musico-lyrical anatomy of melancholy. His “Winterreise” is a profoundly personal statement, a timeless reflection of human fate within a rootless existence and one of the greatest examples of romantic sensibility in music.
The final Schubertiade 376 features a sumptuous concert of Beethoven and Schubert performed by Dimity Hall and Julian Smiles from the Goldner Quartet alongside pianist Bernadette Harvey on November 5 at the Goethe Institute. With his grand trio op 97 in B flat major, dedicated to the composer’s friend and supporter Archduke Rudolph and completed in 1811, Beethoven makes the case for this combination of instruments to rival the string quartet. A performance of this work, given by Beethoven himself with the violinist Schuppanzigh and the cellist Linke marked the final appearance of the deaf composer as a pianist in public. Schubert responds to Beethoven’s vision of the piano trio with two magnificent, large works late in his life in 1827. His “Notturno”, a lonely movement which may have been intended as the slow movement of the piano trio of the same key suggests the spiritual transcendence of the string quintet. The earlier Sonata from 1824 written for an instrument that no longer exists (Arpeggione) completes this program of influence and contrast.
There is also one more Schubert Hour event for the year, on the 15th of October at 2.30pm at St. Peter's in North Sydney. These gatherings for members and friends of the Society also provide a wonderful chance to bring along potential new members or friends who are interested in the society. Our president Goetz Richter and the wonderful Jeanell Carrigan will be presenting a concert and talk about Schubert's music during the year 1817. 1817 was critical year for Schubert, who had made an attempt to establish himself as an independent composer. The arrangement to lodge with the mother of his friend Schober came to an abrupt in August of this year and Schubert was faced with the dilemma of having to return to his father’s house and the dreaded profession of a school teacher. The ambivalence of his circumstances is not betrayed by a prolific year of composition. 1817 saw the creation of some of Schubert’s best known lieder (Death and the Maiden, An die Musik, Die Forelle). Goetz Richter, President of the Sydney Schubert Society introduces works written in 1817, including lieder and the Duo Sonata in A major for violin and piano.
We hope you and your friends will be able to join us for a wonderful program of Schubert this year at some or all of our events. If you have not yet become a member of the Schubert Society, please consider doing so - it will be a very important help for the society to be able to continue presenting its Schubertiades and advancing the appreciation and understanding of Schubert’s music and the music of his time in Sydney. You can find on our website (www.sydneyschubertsociety.com) all details of events for 2017 and more information about the Sydney Schubert Society Inc. Please forward invitations to friends and family through your social networks and consider inviting interested Schubert - and music lovers to join you for a Schubertiade or Schubert Hour event. These are special gatherings where we can experience the music of Schubert in an authentic context and with true and rare immediacy.